How that will impact the social media landscape remains to be seen. Built atop the massively popular Instagram feed, this content hole will compel users to fill it. Adults who want to play with Snapchat’s creation tools, but in front of an audience they’ve already built, will probably enjoy it.
Stories — these self-destructing, bite-sized chunks of content — are a format, the same way status updates are a format. It was just a matter of time for another app to pick up on that.
So what’s the difference between Snapchat and Instagram now?
Here’s my take on it:
I only follow a couple of folks on Snapchat, and I’ve never felt compelled to snap back. If I want 1:1 conversations I can turn to Facebook Messenger or SMS.
The Snapchat UX felt weird, and I didn’t appreciate the lack of discovery tools for finding new content.
Meanwhile Instagram is a never-ending flood of friends’ updates, easy-to-find visual inspiration, amateur event coverage, strangers’ slice-of-life snapshots, etc.
And that sums it up for me. Instagram is open. Snapchat is closed. And I prefer open.
I enjoy posting to Instagram because I’m contributing to something bigger, e.g. an ever-growing collection of Toronto snapshots.